SASE: A Guide to Secure Access Service Edge

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital business transformation, Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) emerges as a game-changer, seamlessly integrating network and security capabilities. In this blog, we will take an in-depth look at SASE, its significance, its impact on businesses, the factors driving its adoption, the challenges it poses, and finally, we will offer some recommendations for users based on the data we have gathered.

What is SASE?

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is a platform that combines network and security functionalities, including SD-WAN, SWG, CASB, firewall, and zero trust network access (ZTNA). Delivered primarily as a service, SASE ensures secure access for branch offices, remote workers, and on-premises scenarios. It hinges on zero trust principles, basing access on device or entity identity, real-time context, and adherence to security and compliance policies.

Why is SASE Important?

SASE is pivotal in modern infrastructure, enabling flexible work environments, edge computing, and cloud-delivered applications. It enhances visibility, agility, performance, resilience, and security, simplifying the delivery and operation of critical network and security services through a cloud-centric model. Notably, SASE reduces vendor sprawl, consolidating secure access to a few explicitly partnered vendors.

Business Impact of SASE:

SASE introduces substantial positive transformations:

  • Empower Hybrid Workforces: The digital business enablement initiative aims to streamline branch office processes and empower hybrid workforces, resulting in cost and complexity reduction through vendor consolidation.
  • Ensure Consistent Service Delivery: Seamlessly provides networking and security services to support digital business transformation, edge computing, and remote work to guarantee a consistent and reliable service delivery.
  • Realize Efficiency Gains: Experience significantly reduced deployment time for new users, locations, applications, and devices to increase efficiency in IT operations.
  • Enhance Policy Consistency: Enables information security to establish and enforce policies consistently across various access types, creating a proactive approach to reduce the attack surface and improve overall cybersecurity.

Obstacles to SASE Adoption:

Despite its benefits, SASE faces challenges:

  • Organizational Silos: Coordination across security and networking teams is crucial, but existing silos and skills gaps can impede a cohesive approach.
  • Cloud Aversion: Some organizations resist cloud-based services, preferring on-premises deployment for control reasons.
  • Global Coverage: SASE depends on cloud delivery, and a vendor’s cloud footprint limitations may restrict deployments in certain regions.
  • SASE Maturity: Capabilities vary among SASE vendors, with challenges in addressing high-priority capabilities like sensitive data visibility and control.

User Recommendations for SASE Adoption:

To navigate the complexities of SASE adoption, consider the following recommendations:

  • Involve Security and Network Architects: Collaborate for an integrated approach when evaluating SASE. Security architects ensure robust security alignment, while network architects optimize performance and integration. This collaboration ensures a well-rounded SASE implementation meeting both security and networking requirements.
  • Leverage Refresh Cycles: Use WAN, firewall, and VPN hardware refresh cycles or SD-WAN deployments to update network and security architectures.
  • Vendor Selection: Explore single-vendor, dual-vendor, and managed SASE options but limit deployments to two vendors for core services to minimize complexity.
  • Integration and Automation: Opt for vendor combinations that prioritize explicit integration, turnkey automation, and enhanced visibility. Choosing solutions with these features streamlines operations, enhances efficiency, and ensures a cohesive SASE implementation aligned with your organization’s needs.
  • Combined Implementations: Combine branch office and remote access in a single implementation for consistent policies and reduced vendor dependency.

Does SASE Make SD-WAN Obsolete?

In short, no. SASE includes SD-WAN and enhances its capabilities. SD-WAN remains relevant as a stand-alone solution or paired with a cloud-centric security vendor, providing crucial support for dynamic traffic steering and rapid failover at remote branch locations. SASE complements SD-WAN, ensuring a comprehensive and secure networking solution for enterprises.

About InterVision: InterVision is here to streamline the process. Our Professional Services and Managed Services offer solutions to enable a seamless SASE implementation. We collaborate closely with your teams, aligning strategies and addressing challenges to ensure optimal performance, enhanced security, and reduced complexity. From evaluations to strategic roadmaps, integrated deployments, and operational support, InterVision can ensure a successful SASE integration.

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